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    Undetected human papillomavirus DNA and uterine cervical carcinoma: Association with cancer recurrence.

    Strahlenther Onkol 2016 Jan;192(1):55-62
    Background: The time course of human papillomavirus (HPV) DNA clearance was studied in patients with carcinoma of the cervix during follow-up after primary radical radiotherapy (RT). This study investigated the relationship between timing of HPV clearance and RT effectiveness.

    Patients And Methods: A total of 71 consecutive patients who were treated for cervical cancer with primary radical radiotherapy and high-dose rate intracavitary brachytherapy with or without chemotherapy were enrolled in the study. Samples for HPV DNA examination were taken before (1) treatment, (2) every brachytherapy, and (3) every follow-up examination. The times when HPV DNA was undetected were analyzed for association with recurrence-free survival.

    Results: HPV DNA was not detected in 13 patients (18 %) before RT. Of the 58 patients with HPV DNA detected before treatment, HPV DNA was not detected in 34 % during treatment and in 66 % after the treatment. Within 6 months after RT, HPV DNA was detected in 0 % of all patients. The patients were followed up for a median period of 43 months (range 7-70 months). In all, 20 patients were found to develop recurrence. The 3-year cumulative disease-free survival (DFS) rate was 71 ・} 5.4 % for all 71 patients. In multivariate analysis, DFS was significantly associated with HPV (detected vs. not detected) with a hazard ratio of 0.07 (95 % confidence interval 0.008-0.6, p = 0.009).

    Conclusion: In this study, patients in whom HPV was not detected had the worst prognosis. Six months after RT, HPV DNA was detected in 0 % of the patients. Patients in whom HPV DNA could not be detected before treatment need careful follow-up for recurrence and may be considered for additional, or alternative treatment.
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